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Flatlanders Homecoming - 2002
by Clarence Milam

original photo by c. oglesby

Lubbock (Sat. 9/21/02) - The moon was full. The evening was a crisp fall night at the West Texas Canyon Amphitheater. There was magic in the air. A legend had come home to play. Well, more a legend than a band, as we have so fondly come to know them: The Flatlanders. And not just Jimmie, Butch, and Joe. Oh no. Much, much more.

In support of their new CD, Now Again, the present incarnation of The Flatlanders; Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, and Joe Ely, accompanied by Gary Herman (vocals, bass), Robbie Gjersoe (guitar, vocals), and Rafael Gayol (drummer) hit the stage early. The band blazed through new songs, blending country/folk/rock with unearthly harmonies that raised goosebumps.

Sprinkling the music with West Texas tall tales of honky tonks, the hometown boys welcomed old friends on stage for two songs from the original 1971 More A Legend Than A Band. Tony Pearson on mandolin, and Steve Wesson on the musical saw never missed a beat on "One Road More" and "You've Never Seen Me Cry".

And the night was young. The crowd chimed in with Butch's classic "West Texas Waltz", and reminiscent of the Cotton Club, everyone was dancing by the end.
The Flatlanders concluded with Jimmie's "Dallas", sounding a bit more like the Joe Ely version we have all become so accustomed to.

But hometown boys ain't allowed to leave early, and West Texas music can't stop before Midnight, so the boys returned for the first encore ending with Terry Allen's "Gimme A Ride To Heaven, Boy."

The crowd wanted more. Even the wind held it's breath as Butch sang, barely above a whisper the classic "If You Were A Bluebird."

And what would a night of hometown boys be without Buddy? As the clock struck midnight, the Flatlanders roared into "Oh Boy!"

The crowd was converted into believers when they sang along to "Right Where I Belong." The evening started with a lively version of Joe's "I Had My Hopes Up High".
We all did. We were never let down.

The Flatlanders, c. 1972
photo by B. Hancock

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